Chris Woods, one of Graeme Souness’s first major signings for Rangers, believes it is “very difficult” to draw comparisons between when Souness took over as manager at Ibrox and Steven Gerrard’s appointment now, as football has changed too much financially, writes Duncan Hare.

Goalkeeper Woods signed for Rangers for £600,000 from Norwich City in 1986, the same year Terry Butcher arrived, with fellow England internationalists Trevor Steven and Gary Stevens to sign in the years to come as Souness revolutionised the Ibrox club and the Scottish game.

While Liverpool legend Gerrard has also taken over at a time of strife for Rangers, Woods does not believe natural comparisons can be made to when another former Anfield great Souness was brought in.

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“That is going to be very difficult to say,” said Woods. “Times were changing in Scottish football back then and I don’t know if it’s such a dramatic change now. There weren’t the [international] players coming into the Scottish game then when we arrived.”

Woods says there is now a vast financial gulf from when Souness was appointed, and could sign England internationals, to Gerrard searching for players far below that level.

“Money’s a big thing. That’s where his knowhow and the people around him will come in. He’s going to have to look at players and get players in.”

The former England goalkeeper, who was at Rangers for five years, says there are “definitely” similarities between Souness and Gerrard when it comes to steely determination – but says the new Rangers manager will quickly find out he’s only as good as what he can put on the Ibrox pitch.

“Steven Gerrard’s got that and can put that in but it’s about building your team and that team delivering on the pitch,” said Woods. “I know that he’ll be working as hard as he possibly can to do that but it is about getting the players in that can do that. Rather than about it just being the manager, as everybody says, to be a great manager you need great players.”

While Woods says it is “a massive opportunity” for Gerrard and one that “doesn’t get any bigger and better than that for him”, he adds that expectations are going to be “unbelievable”.

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“Everybody’s going to expect him to go out there and hopefully win the league but it doesn’t always work like that,” he said. “But I’m sure with his experience and know how, he’ll put that into good stead for helping Rangers.”

One player who has been brought in is 36-year-old goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who has returned to Ibrox after playing in the Premier League with Hull City, and Woods believes that knowhow could prove vital for Gerrard.

“I can remember him coming on to the scene as a young lad and he had unbelievable potential,” said Woods. “He’s been down in England now and gained more experience. He knows what it’s all about and hopefully he can pass that on to the people arriving at the club.”

Woods though, who recently left his position as goalkeeping coach at West Ham United, was unable to shed any light on the potential of another England goalkeeper coming to Glasgow. Bookmakers have slashed the odds on Joe Hart, who played at West Ham last season, moving to Celtic to 4/1 and Rangers to 5/1.

However, Woods said: “I don’t know anything at all, no! The last time I spoke to Joe was the end of the season so I really don’t know what his intentions are.”